A 22 Year Old’s Diary Entry From 1887

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My stupid grandma died and I had to clean out her house. I was fucking around in the attic looking for my grandfather’s Nazi memorabilia and I found this diary from one of her relatives. People sure used to worry about stupid shit back then, lol. Check it out:

October 25th, 1887

It seems our Injun summer was short upon us, and now the shackles of frost lay across the cereal plains. We may finally retire for the season and reflect upon this year’s production. I have to say I am quite pleased with young Jeremiah’s ethic, despite my earlier protestations towards Uncle Eustace’s decision to employ him. For a freed negro, Jeremiah does not strike me as the type I had read about in the letters from cousin Adelaide. No, he simulates the manners of a gentleman to a degree better than say a moron or an inebriate even. Perhaps I was unfair to prematurely judge Jeremiah. Perhaps Adelaide had engaged in her brand of dramatization on the matter, the kind of dramatization that is the cornerstone of her reputation. She has always been so quick to let her faculties of reason fall by the wayside. She has found herself in New York City, and from her writings I can tell it is a wicked place.

This early winter will afford me more time for contemplation. I am getting on in years, yet I have not laid notches upon life’s milestones as I should have at this junction. If I were to use my father’s experiences as a meter, at my age he had already passed away from consumption. It is not that I expect death this year, but I should not rule out it’s possibility.

I find myself wandering an eerie valley, betwixt the foothills of both adolescence and maturity. Woe is this twentysomething. I yearn for my yesteryears – for my childhood. Simple days spent in the bahia field behind the root cellar, liberating hours of our lives with captivating games of rock or stick, or perhaps rudimentary knot tying with the jute twine my father had secured from a celestial trader.

I cannot expect those days to return any more than I can expect cousin Mayhew’s gold prospecting endeavor to prove fruitful. O poor Mayhew. I shall be forced to watch his quotidian exit from the grove where those scrupulous sons of Abraham empty their chamberpots, empty handed and forlorn. The Lord as my witness, Mayhew is a man with heavenly intentions and honest will towards man, but he has the prospecting acumen of a blind mule.

I had the visceral pleasure of deflowering young Margaret this week. At first she opposed, and I maintained my gentle nature. However as the evening pressed on, my preprandial dram took a hold of my sensibilities and I let her sultry finery tempt my more carnal desires. I laid my charm and force upon her for the entirety of supper, and by nightfall she had capitulated. Her protestations simmered to a simple and remorseful coo, no more imposing than a junebug’s whisper. She is now in her fourteenth year, getting on now quite a bit herself, and if I am to take her as my wife I should do so now, for if another harvest should pass before we elope I fear I will be the laughingstock of Mackalina County for wedding a spinster.

For the life of me I still cannot determine the disposition of that woman. I fear she may suffer from the same hysteria as my previous wife. In regards to that sentiment, last month I saw a notice at the mercantile registry that had been fastened to the wall purely for mirthful intent. It challenged readers to deduce “Which Simms Character Is Your Spouse.” I let out a sonorous laugh as I concluded Margaret must of course be the good widow Eveleigh, what with her adoration of rouge and rose, and her insatiable desire to procure footwear. Such a widow Eveleigh she is. Such.

I find that writings such as that have become more popular. Listicles they have been called. It is a brave new time we are experiencing. That Pentecostal miller from the Du Fief plantation shared a delightful one with myself and James on our way to the trading post today. On a loose piece of foolscap he had enumerated 12 ways in which a Carolinian conducts himself that indicate his status as a native Carolinian. As pleasing as it was, it grew trite on me by the fifth or sixth item, and I can’t say that I could stand to tolerate much more of these lists. The miller warned us that they would usher in an epoch of paganism, wrought with a sickening form of idolatry in which young women would neglect their duty toward household and God in favor of daguerreotypes of their own countenance, foisting them upon whomever would entertain their vanity. He succumbed to his rattlesnake venom as his speech deteriorated into prophetic glossalalia. “…selfies…selfies…selfies,” he repeated before collapsing into a hypnotic stupor.

And now, I bid you farewell, dear diary, as I must retire to my burlap sack filled with hay and some kind of livestock feces. TC mark

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